In today’s film news roundup, Billy Dee Williams will receive a Hollywood legacy award, the Art Directors Guild taps three for lifetime achievement, and fan-owned Legion M invests in a Nicolas Cage movie.
The American Black Film Festival will honor Billy Dee Williams with the Hollywood legacy award, actor Omari Hardwick with the distinguished ABFF alumni award, and actress Tiffany Haddish with the rising star award.
The awards gala will take place on Feb. 25 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The show celebrates individuals of African descent who have made distinguished contributions to American culture through their work, and salutes the year’s best movies and television shows.
Williams’ credits include “Brian’s Song,” “Lady Sings the Blues,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “Batman.” Hardwick stars in the Starz series “Power” with credits on “Tyler Perry’s for Colored Girls” and BET Network’s “Being Mary Jane.”
Haddish starred in Universal’s hit summer movie “Girls Trip” and will be seen starring with Tracy Morgan in the new TBS show “The Last O.G.” She just wrapped production on Universal’s “Night School.” Director and producer Ava DuVernay will receive the industry visionary award.
Scenic artist John Moffitt, Oscar-nominated set designer James J. Murakami, and senior illustrator Martin Kline are joining previously announced production designer Norm Newberry as recipients of the Art Directors Guild lifetime achievement award.
They will be honored at the 22nd annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards on Jan. 27 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.
Moffitt’s credits include “Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events,” 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” the Batman series and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Moffitt was the Art Directors Guild Associate Executive Director from 2006 to 2014.
Murakami’s has been set designer on nine movies directed by Clint Eastwood including “Gran Torino,” “Invictus,” “J. Edgar,” “American Sniper” and “Sully.” Murakami received an Emmy and two Emmy nominations while serving as art director on “Deadwood” and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on “The Changeling” in 2008.
Kline’s credits include “Jurassic Park,” “Forrest Gump,” “Spider-Man” and “Polar Express.” He joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in 1995 and spent 12 years as Managing Art Director.
Legion M, touted as the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company, has joined producers SpectreVision, XYZ Films and Umedia as a production partner in action-thriller “Mandy,” Variety has learned exclusively.
Starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Panos Cosmatos, “Mandy” has been selected as a Midnight screening at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Part of the Legion M investment will help produce the film’s original soundtrack, written by Oscar-nominated composer Jóhan Jóhannsson.
Producers are Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller and Elijah Wood for SpectreVision, Nate Bolotin for XYZ, and Adrian Politowski for Umedia, and is being executive produced by Nick Spicer, Lisa Whalen, Todd Brown, Maxime Cottray, Martin Metz, Peter Bevan, Christopher Figg and Robert Whitehouse, with Umedia and Piccadilly Pictures financing.
“When the ‘Mandy’ team shared their unique vision for a surrealist, heavy-metal-soaked revenge story with Nic Cage at his maniacal best, we jumped at the chance to get involved,” said Paul Scanlan, co-founder and CEO of Legion M. “This deserving project is yet another great opportunity for Legion M to activate the immeasurable power of our fan owners, and the news that ‘Mandy’ has been selected to participate in Sundance Midnight strengthens our excitement about our investment in this unique project.”
“Mandy” also stars Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roach, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré, Richard Brake, Bill Duke and Sam Louwyk. Founded in 2016, Legion M uses new equity crowdfunding laws and has raised more than $3 million in equity crowdfunding.